Disclaimer: It's not mine! STFU!
“Duo, sit down before you fall down.”
Heero was puttering around again, as if he'd been here this whole time, as if this house was
still the exact same as when he'd first bought it and placed his new possessions inside. He went into the kitchen and, from
the sounds of it, put water on to boil. I could only guess that he was making tea.
I almost laughed. Tea. How... normal.
I just plopped myself on the landing and rubbed at my chest. My heart was heavy and thick, almost
too painful. I felt like gasping. It would be over soon, I promised myself. I just had to get through this nightmare, and
then it would be over.
Oh God. I didn't want it to be over.
By the time Heero returned, I'd managed to take those bits of water in my eyes and shove them
away. He set the tray down and looked at me oddly. “Duo, when I said sit down, I didn't mean there.”
I couldn't bear to look up at him.
He sighed. “Duo... I didn't... I thought Quatre was keeping you informed...
that you already knew I'd be coming back. And I thought Wufei definitely would have told you. You'd sounded... happier...
yesterday. On the phone.”
Happier? Ah. He'd woken me from another nightmare, and I'd gone into overdrive.
I'd thought he'd seen through it – he wasn't being drugged anymore, was he? So how hadn't he-
A loud thump echoed through the room, and I jumped. When I looked up, I
saw Heero's fist against the wall. I lurched to my feet and swayed drunkenly. “Heero – careful – your side-”
“Dammit!” His face was staring at the floor, so much so that
I couldn't see his eyes through his bangs. “You were hiding again, weren't you? I'd thought so, at first, but then you'd
said that you'd seen some ancient animation about a man turned to a llama and I'd thought...”
Ah. Yeah. Something about an Emperor. Even with my mood as down as it'd
been lately, I'd still chuckled once or twice.
So Heero had
“I should have known,” he said bitterly, “that you'd been
faking it... again...”
I managed to make my way to stand in front of him, but my hands only fluttered
uselessly in the air, not sure whether to touch. “Heero, your injury-”
“I'm fine,” he snapped. “Wufei made them give me a few
painkillers before he brought me back. I'm healed for the most part; I only have to do a few exercises each day, same as you.
Besides,” he added huffily, “I want... to talk to you.”
Ow. My chest was heavy again.
“Right.” I grinned at him; damn but that hurt. I took the chair, a piece that sat against the far wall in the room. “Um,
how is your progress? I mean, Quatre'd told me that you were getting better,
that you'd started walking a few days ago...” I took a cup and poured the tea, then poured one for Heero, too, He carefully
sat down and stared at his own cup rather blankly.
“I'm fine,” he mumbled, and took a sip.
I couldn't believe it. He'd made me laugh. I... laughed. “Isn't that
my line?” I asked, and forced myself to stop. I was hurting my stomach anyway.
Heero gave me a hard look. “Usually,” he acceded. “But
the wound's healed, although tender, and even though it gives stabs of pain if I, say, try to twist around to look behind
me, otherwise I'm all right.”
I looked down at my cup of tea and swished the yellow-green liquid around.
Green tea again. The guy loved it.
“Here.” Heero pushed the tray toward me, and this time I noticed
the honey on it. I took it silently and squeezed an exorbitant amount into the tea. Heero handed me a spoon to mix it without
saying a word.
I almost cried.
It was silent for a time, and all I could do was sip at be thankful that
I didn't have to drink the tea plain. Heero didn't drink at all, but just sat there staring gloomily into space.
Finally my cup was empty and I had absolutely nothing left to do to distract
“Dammit.” Heero clinked the cup down onto the tray so hard the
tea sloshed over the brim. I jumped again. “Dammit,” he repeated. “It shouldn't be like this. This isn't...
this isn't how I wanted this.”
I didn't know what to say to that.
“I wanted...!” He turned those beautiful eyes to me, letting
his passion and anger shoot forward. I froze. Alive. They were... “I wanted this to be more...!” He made a coarse
growl of frustration and raked a hand through his hair.
Those eyes were alive.
“Heero...” I flicked my gaze at the walls. “Could I...
just for one second... could I... have a... selfish moment?”
“Selfish moment?” he repeated. I carefully kept my eyes turned
“If you don't want to then-”
“No.” I flinched. “I mean,” he amended quickly,
“no, I don't mind.”
I carefully breathed out and pushed myself up from the chair. I couldn't
tell you where my cup went. I think he probably thought I was insane, looking at the stairwell and making my pathetic way
over to him. I knelt before him and put my hands on his knees. “Just tell me when to stop, and I swear I will. Immediately,”
I breathed, looking over his shoulder.
And with a sob I threw my arms around his waist and buried my face in his
I think he was so surprised at first he couldn't move even if he knew what
to do. And then I think it took so long to decide what to do that I beat him to the punch when I finally managed to get my
vocal cords to work.
“I'm sorry I know this is selfish but I just couldn't
think you were okay when I couldn't see you and if you want me to leave I will I swear I won't force you to keep me here I'm
so sorry I hurt you I didn't know but I should have but I didn't or else I
never would have-”
“Hush, love, please, at least give me a moment to speak.” His
hands came finally to rest on my shoulders.
“Tell me if I'm hurting you,” I ordered, carefully keeping my
grip under control even though I wanted to squeeze as hard as I could, to hold him tight and reassure myself as to his existence.
“You aren't. I promise.”
“I'm sorry,” I said again, just for good measure. Then once
more, “I'm sorry.”
“Please, enough of this. I can't stand to see you like this, love.”
Love. I think that word was more of a knife than a balm, even more painful
to hear considering all I'd done. “And then I tried to be selfish again and...” God I couldn't even say it. “And...”
His fingers clenched tightly to my shoulders. “Please, Duo. I can't...
talk about this right now.”
Too painful for him. I heard it in his voice; the agony thinking about my
suicide attempt brought to him. The horror and anguish of it.
“Please,” he whispered. “Please. Enough.”
It reminded me of the night in his hospital room, of how he'd
pleaded with me then, too. At least beneath my cheek I could feel his thigh muscles moving slightly, and beneath my arms,
his body was warm. Alive. Despite everything, he was alive. I had to remind myself that nothing, absolutely nothing, else
mattered but that.
“It's too late, isn't it?” I asked, forcing myself to calm down.
I made to move, but Heero made a sound of protest and clutched at my shoulders, so I stayed where I was. “It's too late
“No,” Heero said viciously. “I'll fix the mistakes I caused.
I swear it to you, Duo; I'll make up for this... somehow. So please... don't give up?”
It seemed so wrong to have Heero pleading with me so much.
“Mistakes you caused?” I parroted, confused.
“Yes.” His fingers began playing idly with my braid. “I
won't let my mistake take you from me.”
“Wait.” I pushed myself up, ignoring the fingers that almost
clutched at my hair. “What do you mean, 'your mistakes'? What mistakes? I mean... I know you went undercover without...
without telling anyone, but I should've been able to tell...” Heero's face just got sadder and sadder the more I talked,
so I just shut up.
He reached out and pushed a bang from my face. “I'd like to think
I'm a good enough actor to not be caught.”
Was... that a joke? But Heero wasn't laughing. He wasn't even smiling. “I
was cocky. I thought I could keep dodging you, that I could stay one step ahead of you. But I forgot just how...” He
chuckled. “Just how innovative you could be. I forgot that you were a quick learner, and I kept giving you another chance.”
“You kept letting me live,” I realized, and my hands clenched
into fists on his thighs. “Oh God...”
“I almost broke,” he admitted quietly, “when you told
me you'd always be waiting.” My vision was watery with tears, but it didn't stop me from seeing the echoing tears in
Heero's eyes. “That you would wait for me beyond death.”
He slid from the couch and positioned himself in front of me;
the space was tight in front of the coffee table, but Heero didn't seem to care, and the pain of the edge in my back didn't
matter when Heero pulled me into a hug. “I hurt you. I made you think you needed to kill me. But I'd been afraid that
if I told you, you wouldn't try hard enough, and I needed to get close to Frederick to be able to take him down. And then
it all went to hell and... and then I woke up and heard Wufei shouting that you wouldn't wait, that you were...” He took a shuddering breath, an almost wet one, and I knew he was crying. Oh God. “What
would I have done?” he asked, his voice broken. “What would I have done if they'd been too late?”
“I'm sorry,” I whispered. It was the best I could
do. Although... an explanation was probably in order. “I'm not trying to excuse it, but... it... when I found out, I...
I panicked. I hadn't been able to aim perfectly in the rush, but I hadn't tried to hold back, either... I thought...”
Oh God, now I was the one making the wet, crying sounds. Crying sucks.
“Quatre told me,” Heero said, “when he brought... your
computer to me.”
Ah. Shit. That.
“You...” And here he took a ragged breath. “You wrote
that for me? Just... before...?”
I nodded against his shoulder, and he just fucking broke down.
All I could do was hold him. He was clutching at my back in places that
hadn't healed yet, but I would never tell him that, not when he was obviously so upset as to not notice himself. And his shoulders
were shaking so bad I thought it would never stop. It wasn't fair to cry while Heero did; my tears wouldn't help, and they
were an insult to his. Instead I told him what he needed to hear.
“I'm alive. I'm all right. It didn't happen; I didn't die. I survived.
Listen. Listen; you can hear it. My heartbeat. You can hear it, right?” And Heero leaned down until his ear was pressed
to my chest; he took an unsteady breath. “That's it. Just listen. I'm fine now, and I'm perfectly healthy.” Slight
lie, but Heero's shoulders were stilling, so I didn't care. “And I swear, I swear I'll never try anything like that
“You better not,” he mumbled. When I tried to look at him, he
carefully clenched himself close to me, refusing to let me see his face. I sighed.
“I won't. It's too selfish.”
Heero's fingers bit into my shoulders. “I must apologize... for what
I said. In the hospital.”
“Why?” I chuckled for him. “It was true.”
“Still... the delivery could've been better.”
“Ah, but there was a one hundred percent chance of me paying attention
if you socked me. Pretty effective.” I pointed out, lifting a hand from his back to lift up my first finger to the ceiling.
“Duo, don't brush this off. Quatre... told me.”
“Told you?” I repeated, looking down at the crown of his head.
His words were a little muffled; he'd buried his face into my chest somewhere in there. It was so strange, seeing Heero so...
so fucking vulnerable. I'd never seen it before. It made me hurt. It made me feel like killing someone. It made me feel...
possessive, and protective. Like I'd give my life to protect him without a second thought. I mean, I'd always felt that way,
but somehow... somehow, not like this... I just knew that nothing, nothing was as precious as keeping this man's smile safe.
“He told me that you... he told me what happened after I fell.”
I frowned, my mind being forcefully pulled into the present. “You
mean how I went after that leader guy?” I asked.
But Duo shook his head. His hair tickled my nose. “No. Not that. He
told me about how you acted when... after you shot me.”
I flinched violently.
Heero grabbed my shoulders, kept me from pulling away from him. “I'm
“It's the truth,” I repeated. Still, it felt like I'd just been
tasered. “W-Well,” I tried, pulling myself together with sheer willpower, “how did you expect me to react?
I'd just...” I petered out, unable to say it.
“I know. I'd thought I'd be able to evade you, but then you were suddenly
there. I couldn't dodge in time... I'd known it before I'd tried. The only thing I could do was stop the blow from
I flinched again. That close? It'd been that close? “I'm sorry,”
I whispered. “Thank God. Thank God you managed to...”
“I thought you were an atheist?” Heero joked, but I was past
being able to laugh.
“I'll thank every deity ever named,” I said seriously. I think
my words sobered him, too, because he just sort of... limped into my arms. It was the strangest feeling, having Heero Yuy
giving all the control over to me.
“Duo, I... made a huge mistake, didn't I?” he asked after a
few minutes of silence.
I knew what he was talking about this time – the fact that he'd gone
undercover without anyone knowing. I didn't say anything; it may have been a tactical mistake, but I could see where he'd
been coming from. He just... could have trusted my acting abilities a little more.
“Do you want to continue... us?” he asked.
He very carefully didn't hold tight to me this time; that more than
anything made it plain that this was his taboo question. His greatest fear.
So I held him carefully, mindful of his injury, and answered as honestly
“If we didn't continue, Heero, I would try it again. Or at
least... when I went back to the stars, I wouldn't put all my effort into my job.”
It was his turn to flinch violently.
“I can't,” I said simply. “I can't. I guess maybe I'm
just a stupid fucking romantic, but I can't go back to being without you. I tried, during those... during those months, to
try to find a way. But I couldn't. All I wanted was to kill Caribol's people and then – well, you know.”
“Why?” he demanded. “Why can't you just keep living?”
“I just can't.” My answer probably pissed him off, but it was
the truth. “I guess that means you can just never die, Heero.”
It made his breath shudder, hearing that. “That's... hard, considering
“It shouldn't be. Just don't go up against another Gundam pilot.”
He laughed a little too loud. “We'll fix this. We will.”
I leaned my head onto his shoulder, breathed in his scent. Alive. That smell
was still there, and beneath my hands his skin practically burned, reminding me that there was life. If the two of us still
lived, then that meant that we could work through any problem, right?
I took a deep breath, trying to firm those words in my mind. “Sure
A/N: And that would be the end of the Panic at the Disco Saga. Huzzah! *sigh*
But it's not like Sub Rosa's done. Gods, when I'd said this would be a long series, I didn't think it would turn into a freaking
epic. Well, hope you enjoyed this Saga. What could possibly happen next???